NSS Comment on NASA FY 2010 Budget

The National Space Society (NSS) was informed that President Obama has requested $18.7 billion for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for Fiscal Year 2010, an increase of $900 million over the current year’s budget. The Recovery Act (stimulus bill) passed earlier this month provided an additional $1 billion to NASA.

“We are pleased that one of the four budget priorities for NASA includes returning Americans to the Moon,” Greg Allison, NSS Executive Vice President, said. “This is a worthy goal for the world’s leading space agency. It will challenge a new generation of American scientists and engineers, open vast new resources for economic development, and drive improvements in technology.”

Other areas highlighted in the budget were climate change research and monitoring, aeronautic research, and completion and utilization of the International Space Station. “We agree with the Administration’s decision to stick with the plan to retire the shuttle by the end of 2010,” Allison added. “This is necessary to keep new launch vehicle development on schedule.” The Ares launch system is not expected to be ready until 2015, requiring the United States to purchase rides to space from the Russians in the interim.

No details were yet available regarding programs such as additional funds for Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) to provide cargo to the International Space Station, or funds for research into Space Solar Power. NSS members expressed their support for these programs to their members of Congress during the NSS and Space Exploration Alliance Blitz on Capitol Hill earlier this week.

“Both of these programs are vital to the long-term economic health of our nation,” Allison said. “COTS is needed to spur the development of less-expensive launch vehicles by the private sector, and research into space solar power now will allow the United States to reap the long-term rewards of an endless supply of clean energy.”

Media contact:
Brett Silcox
Phone: (202) 429-1600
E-mail: nsshq@nss.org

About National Space Society

The National Space Society (NSS) is an independent, grassroots organization dedicated to the creation of a spacefaring civilization. Founded in 1974, NSS is widely acknowledged as the preeminent citizen’s voice on space. NSS counts thousands of members and more than 50 chapters in the United States and around the world. The society also publishes Ad Astra magazine, an award-winning periodical chronicling the most important developments in space. For more information about NSS, visit http://www.nss.org/.

Orphans Of Apollo at GWU

I went to Inaugural Event of the new Arthur C. Clarke Fellows Endowment of the International Space University. It was a wonderful event, which also included an inspiring tribute to Arthur C. Clarke and a showing of Orphans of Apollo and Q&A with Michael Potter the Director.scott-pace-at-orphans-of-apollo-2

Orphans of Apollo is about Walt Anderson and Mircorp leasing of the Mir Space Station for commercial use and all the feathers it ruffled. I wondered about the name because real orphans of Apollo are not interested in anything in orbit except the Moon. The movie takes us on a rollercoaster ride through this attempt at space commercialization. I knew many of the people in the movie during that time. I remember being amused by what they were trying and amazed they got so far.joe-pelton-at-orphans-of-apollo-2

What I enjoyed most about the evening is seeing how much progress the space movement is making. George Whitesides attended reminding us that the presidential transition team included the Executive Director of NSS, the former Executive Director of the NSS Lori Garver and a former NSS Board Member Alan Ladwig. This week government officials seemed to be looking at Space Solar Power as something worthy of research funding. The movie Orphans of Apollo included a clip with Elon Musk and Space-X which are becoming serious contenders in the launch field. But the thing that was giving me the most hope was the event itself especially Michael Potter’s speech which would have done Rick Tumlinson proud.michael-potter-and-jeff-manber-at-orphans-of-apollo-2

Listening to Michael Potter speak at an event sponsored by the George Washington University Space Policy Institute is like seeing cars drive under the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. As a teenager I used to live in Berlin, the Brandenburg Gate was one of the last things I saw in the city before I left. At the time there were groups of heavily armed soldiers about 20 yards apart, on each side of the Brandenburg gate, with guns pointed at each other. No one had passed through the gate in decades. Now there is a major street running under the gate when I first saw a picture of it as it is now I stared for 10 minutes trying to get my head around the concept. I feel like that now. The Space Policy Institute under Dr. Scott Pace is a fundamentally different place than it was a year ago.

New Book: "Remembering the Space Age"

A new NASA Special Publication (SP-4703) entitled Remembering the Space Age was released this month and is now available on the NSS website as a 9-megabyte PDF download.

This book is not just another space history. Instead, it examines the meaning of the Space Age in the broadest possible sense. It is an examination of the place of space exploration in human history and how the record of the Space Age has been preserved and represented in the wider culture.

The 480-page book consists of a collection of 21 essays stemming from an October 2007 conference sponsored by the NASA History Division and the National Air and Space Museum to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the dawn of the Space Age.

The essays cover a diverse range of topics from “Robert A. Heinlein’s Influence on Spaceflight” to “Cosmonaut Nostalgia in Soviet and Post-Soviet Film” to “China’s Human Spaceflight Program and Chinese National Identity” to “Cultural Functions of Space Exploration,” and much more.

A hard copy of the book retails for $54, but the PDF version is free and has been added to the online NSS Space Policy Library.

Space Exploration Alliance

Space Exploration Alliance Blitz is now under way.
Requests for congress include

1. Support NASA as it aims for the asteroids, the Moon, Mars and Beyond

2. Close the Human Spaceflight Gap by accelerating development of vehicles such as Ares I and the Orion crew exploration vehicle, and by harnessing private sector ingenuity and programs such as COTS-D.

3. Fund Research into Space- Based Solutions to Earth’s Energy and Environmental Needs like Space Solar Power and Clean Helium-3 Fusion

4. Protect and Expand Opportunities for Private Industry and Entrepreneurship such as COTS-D

5. Keep Key Science Missions Alive – robotic space missions are important.

Vote For Your Favorite Lunar Innovation

The Pete Conrad Spirit of Innovation Awards  challenge teams of High School Students to:




Finalists in the competition for these awards are listed in the left column of this page . You can click on each finalist’s program for more information and to vote to rate each team’s effort.

Ad Astra Special Report "Back to the Moon" now available online

The Special Report “Back to the Moon” from the Summer 2008 issue of the National Space Society magazine Ad Astra is now available online. The report chronicles the many reasons for returning to the Moon and the vehicles that will take us there, and examines the lunar materials that will help us stay there permanently. The report is downloadable as a 4.3 megabyte PDF file.

This beautifully illustrated report showcases the exceptional quality of the publication that NSS members regularly receive.  The latest issue of Ad Astra includes a special report on the threat of impact of near Earth objects. If you are not yet a member, check out what you are missing in the Ad Astra section of our website, and then join NSS to receive this superb publication (not to mention to also support the creation of a spacefaring civilization for the benefit of all humanity!).

National Clean Energy Project Summit

The nation’s most important leaders in energy reform are gathering with T. Boone Pickens at the National Clean Energy Project Summit to tackle the critical issues of ushering in a new era of renewable energy and ending our dependence on foreign oil. This event will feature a lot of people who know what they are talking about when it comes to energy policy – including John Podesta from the Center for American Progress Action Fund, U.S. Senator Harry Reid, President Bill Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Climate Czar Carol Browner, Owens-Corning CEO Michael Thaman, American Electric Power President & CEO Mike Morris, Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope, American Wind Energy Association CEO Denise Bode, Riverkeeper Alliance Chief Prosecuting Attorney Robert Kennedy, Jr. and many others. Watch the live roundtable discussion on Monday, Feb. 23, at 10:15 a.m. EST..

National Clean Energy Project Summit

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Programmatic Workshop on NASA Lunar Surface Systems Concepts

February 25-27, 2009
U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Washington, DC

As part of an ongoing collaboration, NASA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC) Space Enterprise Council (SEC) are conducting a workshop on NASA Lunar Surface Systems (LSS) Concepts. The objective is to provide a status of NASA’s lunar surface exploration architecture, to share results of recent innovative lunar concept studies, and to seek feedback from U.S. industry and other interested parties. The workshop will include briefings on NASA, industry, and university analyses performed for NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) and Constellation Program (CxP), with particular emphasis on a recently completed suite of lunar surface study contracts administered by the Constellation Program’s LSS Project Office.

ISDC 09 – Call For Presentations

The National Space Society is seeking presentations and speakers to discuss the latest issues in space technology, science, policy, commerce, medicine, exploration, settlement and more. This year’s conference highlights exciting new developments across the space community, from NASA’s Constellation program to the advent of space tourism.

Abstract Submissions – Deadline April 15

Abstracts should comprise 300-500 words text only (no pictures, graphics, charts, etc.), in English. Submitted abstracts should contain recent results of research, applications development or investigation, and implementation. Abstracts should address the purpose, scope, objectives of the work, and briefly summarize approach or methodologies, important results, and the significance and envisioned applications. Student papers from all areas are strongly encouraged. Please note that formal papers are not required for speaker consideration.

Please keep in mind that individual presentations will be limited to 20 minutes with 10 minutes for questions, and group presentations and panels will be limited to 50 minutes with 10 minutes for questions.

ISDC Abstract Submission Form